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Former Gary/Hammond cop's murder trial to get underway Tuesday
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Former Gary/Hammond cop's murder trial to get underway Tuesday

VALPARAISO — Jury selection is scheduled to begin Tuesday for a former Hammond and Gary police officer accused of murdering his children's mother Nov. 18, 2015, at her Portage apartment.

Kevin Campbell, 33, faces a single count of murder in the shooting death of Tiara Thomas, 30.

Campbell is charged with killing Thomas, who was found covered in blood about 7:30 a.m. in her home at Park Place Apartments, 5970 Old Porter Road in Portage. She died later at the hospital.

Police believe Campbell shot Thomas sometime between 4:37 and 5:55 a.m. that same morning, then took their three children to school.

Court documents indicate Campbell kept the three children overnight at his home in Hobart the night before Thomas was killed. It also alleges Campbell requested his oldest child bring him a key to the apartment nearly two weeks before the homicide.

There was no forced entry into Thomas' apartment the morning she was killed, according to court documents.

Campbell paid Thomas nearly $1,500 per month in child support, and the two often argued about the money and how it was spent, according to charging information. The charges indicate Campbell was in debt and his vehicle had been repossessed.

A plea of not guilty was entered during Campbell's initial court appearance.

Four weeks of court time have been set aside for the trial, in part to allow Porter Superior Court Judge Roger Bradford to stay on top of his weekly court calls on Monday and Friday, according to the court. The trial will take place Tuesday through Thursday each of those weeks.

Campbell is represented by defense attorneys Roy Dominguez and Susan Severtson.

Porter County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Matt Frost and Deputy Prosecutor Cheryl Polarek will argue the case against Campbell.

Campbell, who remains behind bars without bail, as is standard with a murder charge, has been ordered by the court to avoid contact with his children.

Campbell, a Hammond probationary officer, was fired from the job in the wake of the killing after being identified as a person of interest in the case.

He was also a police officer on the Gary Police Department from Aug. 3, 2011, to Jan. 11, 2015, when he left to join the Hammond department. 

Campbell, a probationary officer at the time with Hammond, was fired after he had been identified by authorities as a person of interest. 

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Porter/LaPorte County Courts and Social Justice Reporter

Bob is a 23-year veteran of The Times. He covers county government and courts in Porter County, federal courts, police news and regional issues. He also created the Vegan in the Region blog, is an Indiana University grad and lifelong region resident.

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